Nikita’s work on technology governance pioneers research that breaks the disciplinary boundaries between technology, business, and governance. She read Technology Policy at the University of Cambridge and gained a PhD from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. Nikita lectured on Foreign Policy and International Relations overseas and then pursued an academic career in technology governance. She was the first Research Fellow in Robotics at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. She’s also a former Research Affiliate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge.

In 2019, the Space Engineering Research Center named Nikita ‘Ad Astra Distinguished Fellow’ in Robotic and Outer Space Governance. And she was chosen as one of the ’20 under 35′ future leaders by Space and Satellite Professionals International, for her work on space sustainability.

Nikita joined the UCD Innovation Academy to further advance research on the dynamics between technological developments and governance. She is focused on understanding the socio-economic, policy, and security impact brought by the increasing commercialisation of robotics, quantum, and space technologies.

Nikita has a unique perspective as an international relations scholar with a strong commercial and technological awareness. This has put her at the forefront of global debates, engaging senior policy stakeholders at high-level UN events and major international forums such as the Ditchley Foundation.

Beyond the Academy, Nikita is a mentor for the Space4Women Network. This is an initiative organised by UNOOSA (United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs) to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Her other pursuits include discovering up-and-coming comedians and indie musicians on the Irish scene. She also designs and constructs her own garments in her free time.

Why I joined the UCD Innovation Academy…

“I joined the Academy to further advance interdisciplinary research and innovation in higher education. I want to equip the next generation of leaders with essential skills for an era of technological transformation.”

Fields of study

Technology Governance, Triple Helix Innovation, International Relations and the Governance of Emerging Technologies, Space Sustainability

Selected publications

Selected Publications:
“Promoting International Co-operation in the Age of Global Space Governance – A Study on On-Orbit Servicing Operations” Acta Astronautica, Vol. 161, August 2019

“Digital Diplomacy: The Use of Space Technologies in Enhancing Compliance to International Regimes”
Paper presented at the International Astronautical Congress, Bremen, 1-5 October, 2018 (ISSN-indexed)

“Space debris, safety of space objects with nuclear power sources on board and problems relating to their collision with space debris,”
Space Generation Advisory Council Report Report submitted to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, 54th session, A/AC.105/C.1/111, United Nations General Assembly, 2 Nov 2016 (As Contributing Author)

Selected Media Engagement
Interview – “It’s Time to Take the Trash Out of Space” Interview with The Hive Life Magazine 2019
Interview – “Quantum Technologies & International Co-operation” Video interview with Project Q, Sydney 2019 Interview – “Space debris, satellites and public education about space sustainability” Interview with Network, University of Cambridge Judge Business School 2017